Duchess Kate and Prince William were in a lighthearted mood when they visited Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, England, on Sunday, July 5, to thank staff for all their hard work amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The event marked the couple’s first in-person engagement now that some COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted in the U.K.
The couple traveled 20 minutes from their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, to have afternoon tea with hospital workers as they marked the 72nd anniversary of the National Health Service and the hospital’s 40th birthday.
Kate, 38, had her tied back in a ponytail and wore a Shalini floral-print silk midi dress by Beulah London and gold Patrick Mavros earrings. Her husband, 38, looked dapper in shades of blue — the color associated with the NHS.
The pair observed safety precautions during their visit, using liquid sanitizer to disinfect their hands and maintaining social distancing as they chatted with the staff and enjoyed an afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and potato chips under a marquee filled with colorful balloons.
They were presented with keyrings made by the staff featuring knitted figures of doctors and nurses wearing face masks, with William saying the couple’s three kids — Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2 — “will love them.”
The future king and queen of England met nurse Suzie Vaughan, whose video showing her reuniting with her two daughters — after spending nine weeks separated from them while she worked in the hospital — went viral last month.
The girls, Bella, 9, and Hettie, were excited to see the VIPs, with their mom admitting, “They both always wanted to meet a real-life princess.” Kate told the children that it was “a real treat” to meet them and complimented them on their floral-print dresses, telling the pair that she loved their dresses and that they looked “really pretty.”
William asked some of the workers how they coped with anxiety during the pandemic, and when one staff member told him there were a few “wobbly moments,” the prince replied that it was “a good way of describing it.”
Scroll down to see pics of the couple’s visit.